Danseur Ignoble: Huge Wednesday Class!

There were a jillion of us today, and Brienne made us all really focus on our turnout, which is always good, because of course all dancers always and everywhere — or at least all ballet dancers always and everywhere — can never stop working on turnout.

My barre was decent most of the way through, though my developpés were, well, low (~90 degrees ._.) and slow.  Need to start working those at home again.  Our grand battement combination was borderline sadistic and made me keenly aware of how much fitness I need to build still.   On the other hand, at one point, we did an attitude derriere balance that was just like, “Ohai! Look, Mom, no hands!”

But the secret is that attitude derriere is a pretty easy balance if your back is strong and flexible.  Everything is nicely cantilevered.  So, boom, beautiful attitude balance with arms in fifth, like it ain’t no thang.  Aaaaaaaand …  freeze.

I should really be doing Brian’s class on Monday as well, to keep things consistent, but I can’t until I get a job, which I won’t be able to do til I get back from Florida.  I don’t want to drop Margie’s Friday class because I feel like it really helps with my musicality and stuff.  So, for the time being, I suppose I’ll have to do something else on Monday to work on ballet fitness.

At center, I didn’t bungle the adagio too badly (ha) and managed to do the medium allegro decently.  Our traveling combination with turns was actually the highlight of the class for me, though (surprisingly: usually I’m all about the jumps).  

As for petit allegro …  oy, vey.  I need to work on speed.   Height and ballon I’ve got by nature, but at the expense of speed.  I do fine (I have learned to moderate my vertical jumps by doing them lower) until we start throwing in glissades, at which point I get behind if the music is really quick.  My glissades tend to be huge and floaty.   That’s awesome if there’s time in the music, but dancers need quick glissades, too.  The quick glissade is a skill I have to practice frequently, and one I lose if I don’t.

So this week I’ll be doing petit allegro, lightly and quickly, at home.  I would do well to practice it when my legs are already tired, since doing light, quick petite allegro while tired is pretty much a given in ballet.  I’m also going to work on grand assemblé with a beat, because beats are awesome and look cool.  I suppose I should also work on a small, quick assemble.

To an extent, I’m fighting cycling muscles again.   I did too much gear-mashing the past two weeks or so, which overdevelops the quads (and other muscles the we use in ballet to launch big, powerful jumps).   This does two things: first, it just makes one’s legs freaking heavy, which means one is then consigned to a heavier lifting workout throughout class. 

Second, if the opposing muscles are insufficiently developed, it’s harder for them do their job in développé and so forth — basically, any movement that requires them to overcome the huge “launch muscles” that provide for explosive jumps (both in the ballet studio and on the bike).

Thus, one finds one’s self attempting to construction-crane into extension with the quads instead of pushing from beneath, which makes one’s turnout fall apart and prevents one reaching maximum extension.  Also leads to clenching, gripping, and the making of terrible faces.  So just don’t do it, because your face could freeze like that (and so could your butt, which might be even worse: you would have to dance like that FOREVER).


Do not make this face. Don't do it. It's not worth the risk!

Body mechanics, y’all.

I need to ride more slowly in lighter gears and do exercises at home that balance out the launch groups.

Which I practiced on today’s ride home.


Anyway, I started this post at lunch, and here it is, nearly bedtime.  Not that I’ve been writing all day; I just keep coming back and thinking, “Meh, this doesn’t seem done,” and then failing to come up with anything else. I’m sure at one point I had some other things I meant to write about, but I don’t remember them.

So, there you have it.

People with big legs: any suggestions for taming the quick petite allegro?  (Besides, “Practice, practice, practice,” which is probably, to be fair, a huge part of it.)

About asher

Me in a nutshell: Standard uptight ballet boy. Trapeze junkie. Half-baked choreographer. Budding researcher. Transit cyclist. Terrible homemaker. Neuro-atypical. Fabulous. Married to a very patient man. Bachelor of Science in Psychology (2015). Proto-foodie, but lazy about it. Cat owner ... or, should I say, cat own-ee? ... dog lover. Equestrian.

Posted on 2015/05/13, in balllet, class notes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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